With the 2020 Road Racer of the Year (RROTY) competition hotting up, it was another serving of the fearsome 30km Boorolong course on the menu, and with a westerly headwind in the way out, it would be a tough day at the office with an express return leg for those who could hitch their wagon to the right group!
Another great turnout of 30 riders lined up, and we welcomed new racers Marty Inglis and Fred Kearney…although Toby was keen to show his dad how things are done!
With the groups allocated, Marty and Fred were setoff with Jacqui King and Olive Tutt as the GO riders. At 3 minutes Captain Creagan, Pete Wilko, and Hayden Freeman were next off, while behind them at 5 minutes was a strong looking group of 7 riders including in-form Rod Christie, Chris Belson, Richard Wilko, Gareth Kelly, Katherine Hosking, Lachie McPhie, and Mark “Wal” Hayden.
There was another well oiled group of 5 riders rolling off 1 minute later at 6mins with Swanny, Keglegs, Tinny, Dene Bourke and Pete Hosking. Just 1 minute further back at 7mins was a quartet of Toby, Matt Bedford, Clint Bourke, and Brent Weston, and with a total of 16 riders setting off within 2 minutes of each other the smart money was on this contingent to be in the mix at the end of the days proceedings.
But they would have to contest with the Block trio of Pat Ferris, Andy Robb, and John Scott-Hamilton chasing hard from 3 minutes back at 10mins, while a race-hardened Scratch quartet of Houlty, Sean Brennan, Jason Simmonds and Paul Williams would need to set a searing pace to be in the race a further 2 minutes back at 12mins.
The strong headwind on the way out meant any chance of survival would depend on the groups staying together. As riders bit the dust on the uphill gradients, it was notable that the 5 minute group worked together all the way to the turn, and they soon hit the front of the race leaving the chasers with it all to do. Hot on their heels were a chasing trio of Brent, Toby, and Matt Bedford, while Block and Scratch combined soon after the turn although with 2+ minute gap to close they would have a real struggle to make a dent on the leading riders.
It was a fast and furious return leg, with the large group pushing hard at the front – the chasers were slowly closing the gap, and with the Block-Scratch express rolling at an incredible average speed of 50kmh for the return leg would they be able to hold out?
The answer was yes, but only just! As the 3 main groups went under the flamme rouge the gap was less than a minute, and as riders wound up their sprint it was all to play for! But emerging from the shadows and showing sensational finishing form was Mark Hayden who crossed the line first to take out a great win, and just reward for recent efforts on club rides & races! Chris Belson kept up his recent strong form taking out second, while the last podium spot was taken by Rod Christie to maintain his string of recent results! The last bonus RROTY points were mopped up by Richard Wilko and Gareth Kelly, just pipping Katherine Hosking who also rode a great race to come in 6th.
Just seconds behind the front group, and with a car blocking their charge for the line were Matt, Toby and Brent, while the Scratch express steamed across the line a further 30 seconds back with Jason Simmonds leading the charge and taking out the fastest time of the day.
Well done to all racers, and in particular to Fred & Marty on what was a tough introduction on the hardest local parcours! Thanks also to Clint for doing the signs, and Col for running the race and taking the times – a GoPro malfunction meant we had to go old-school this week and some timings are approximate!
Next week we return to graded scratch racing on the gentler Dangarsleigh course.
|SIMMONDS Jason||2020-09-05||15||0:12:00||0:40:30||0:17:16||0:57:46||0:45:46 FT||30||40.000|
* Times are approximate due to GoPro malfunction